The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), and other partners published the International Guidelines on the Use of Natural and Nature-Based Features (NNBF) for Flood Risk Management. Nature-based solutions are infrastructure projects designed to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human wellbeing and biodiversity benefits. Examples include marshes, reefs, islands and mangroves. This resource provides counties and other risk management stakeholders with information on NNBF to improve coastal resilience and solutions that reduce flood and storm risks.
On September 16, the contributing organizations released the guidelines, which featured various guest speakers and a panel discussion with the authors. To watch the launch event, click here. The guidelines highlight five key principles for NNBF:
- Expect change and manage adaptively
- Identify sustainable and resilient solutions that produce multiple benefits
- Use a systems approach to leverage existing components and projects and their interconnectivity
- Engage communities, stakeholders, partners and multidisciplinary team members to develop innovative solutions
- Anticipate, evaluate and manage risk in project or system performance
The guidelines provide background, applications, and case studies on topics applicable to NNBF and policy recommendations on implementing NNBF in future flood risk management strategies. As our nation experiences increasingly devastating natural disasters, counties are the first government entity to cope with any damages or threat to human life associated with the disaster. By building local resiliency through pre-disaster mitigation efforts, counties have decreased the chances of loss of life and post-disaster recovery costs. NACo’s Resilient Counties Initiative strengthens county resiliency by building leadership capacity to identify and manage risk and allow counties to become flexible and respond. By using sustainable practices and infrastructure, counties will be better prepared to address these issues in a manner that can minimize the impact on residents and businesses while helping counties save money.